1965 Honda Dream Barn Find, or, I Must Be Crazy

I’ve long wanted to own a mid-60’s Honda. My top choice would have been a Scrambler, but the 305 Dream has always ran a close second. Years ago, I had an opportunity to acquire a CA77 and blew it… and I’ve long regretted that.

My wife knew of my interest, and so when she heard that a distant cousin of mine had a “1965 motorcycle in boxes” in his shed, she contacted him about what it was and if he’d sell it. The answer: a black 1965 Honda Dream 305.

I picked it up today. I haven’t seen the title yet, as he’s still looking for it, and I can’t quite make out the odometer reading, but I think it’s around 20,000 miles. “In boxes” referred to the seat, tank, side panels and sundry other small bits; the chassis still rolls, though the back tire won’t hold air. Sadly, at some point or another, my cousin’s son set out to restore it, and lost interest after barely starting (hence the boxed parts). He removed the plugs along the way… I have only one of them, and it’s broken.

Here’s a picture, taken by my wife Tracy, of me with the bike at my cousin’s residence:

First problem: The engine seems to be locked. I’ll have to take it apart to be sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the pistons are rusty. My cousin asserts that it still ran when he stopped riding it… the back tire blew out, he said, and though he claims he didn’t actually go down, he lost all interest in further riding. That was in 1978, apparently, as that’s the year on the plate. So the only reason I can think that the engine would refuse to move is that the piston(s) have rusted. Hopefully it’s not too bad, but until I get the head off, I won’t know.

He told me the frame was cracked; when I picked it up, the only crack I can see is in the rear fender, which I’m told is a common issue. Given the rust spots all over the frame, I think stripping it down to the frame and getting it repaired and repainted is the smart thing to do. Given that I’ll have to do that, I’m considering repainting it Honda red. Not all that excited about black.

The wheels are popping chrome everywhere, so rechroming is probably on the horizon as well. The bars also need the treatment. Of course, everything rubber on the bike needs replacement, except strangely, the kickstarter and shift rubber doesn’t look all that bad.

Gah. Seriously, I must be crazy. Looking at the number of things that need doing, I have to admit I have some fear that I may not be able to finish it. But I’m not the sort to give up without a hell of a fight.

Here are a few pictures of it, loaded into my truck:

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